The Olympics are over and hopefully Australia can regain some sense of perspective on what really matters in life, albeit for just another four years. Meanwhile the Chinese government will undoubtedly be delighted to be able to return to business as usual of imprisoning, torturing, and executing those who dare to have an opinion of their own free from any risk of international scrutiny.
So as a final comment here's a cartoon by Chris Henning published in The Sydney Morning Herald a fortnight back. I looked everywhere to find a copy already online, but it didn't seem to make the web edition. Perhaps it was deemed potentially offensive to Chinese advertisers. So here's a scanned and reposted version instead:
Ee-Aw Represent the ancient Chinese spirit of security. He ensures nothing goes wrong, and no troublemakers ruffle the imperturbable calm of the Central Kingdom as it celebrates the Olympic Games. Ee-Aw looks fierce but he is really very friendly. If you see him chasing Nyah-Nyah, don't worry! The two are old friends.
Fu-fu floats like a cloud above the Games, blessing all with her serene presence. On days when there is lots of Fu-fu, Olympic visitors are encouraged to gather together, look up at the sky and blow as hard as they can to blow Fu-fu away! But take your puffer, dear visitors, in case Fu-fu doesn't get the hint.
Nyah-Nyah loves running away, which is just as well, because she is often being chased! She is the rebellious spirit regrettably present in parts of the motherland. Nyah-Nyah is all right in small doses when Western cameras are present, but when everyone goes home, watch out, Nyah-Nyah! Ee-Aw is coming after you with his big stick.
Bang-bang is the spirit of public relations, so essential to a successful Olympics. Bang-bang is the colour of fireworks, and he is boisterous and noisy. He is also filthy rich after his deals with US TV networks, and he has a remarkably short temper, so it is best to avoid him. If you really want to talk to him, make sure you are very rich and powerful. After all these Games celebrate the People's Republic. They're not for any old riff-raff.
Pan-Pan is a Panda, right? Wrong! He's dressed up like one and he'd like you to think he's one, but really he's from the secret police. Those leaves are his camo hat, so you won't see him up the tree across the road. Don't laugh, dear Olympic guests, or you will end up in the slammer. Also, they contain remote sensing devices so Pan-pan can stand outside your hotel and read your email.